Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Three Questions to Assess a Person’s Character

Character is an important differentiator between extraordinary and ordinary, a real leader and a follower.
People are always the most invaluable asset in the organization. The question is how would you define the right people? How do you define wrong, average, mediocre, good, great or extraordinary person? One of the key differentiators is CHARACTER which is kind of things that education can’t help a lot. The understanding character is very relevant and timely for leading organizations to overcome mediocrity, and for the leaders who are seeking new ways to maximize themselves and human capital initiatives in their organizations. And measuring ROC - Return on Character has become the trend in many forward-looking organizations for both developing leaders and identifying high professional employees with integrity to innovate culture and improve organizational maturity. However, what is the character? And how to assess a person’s character or CQ (Character Quotient) though?

Do you have persistence and determination to accomplish ultimate goals? Trial and suffering expose one’s character for who they really are: Many people say that trials and suffering build character. It does not build character as much as it exposes one's character for who they really are. That is why if a person can change their victim mentality to one of a survivor's mentality, or even thriver’s mindset, then and ONLY then can the strength be strengthened, ambition be inspired, and success achieved. People have different characters (perception + personality). Some are more resilient, they face the difficulty, and stand again, with survivor's mentality; others live with a victim mentality. They are unable to accept it mentally, though would still survive. Few might face difficulties, bounce back with resilience and transform it into a rock solid character. It takes perseverance to fulfill the purpose: Purposeful leaders and professionals have a vision, which is so clear to them, making it quite obviously purposeful.  And then it takes passion to translate such purpose, more often than not, there’s rocky road ahead, and it takes perseverance and determination to accomplish the purpose.

Can you act consistently no matter it’s good time or bad time; facing pressure or being pushed through? To be consistent means to be who you are, keep your authenticity. Character-based leaders and professionals define their values and follow the leadership principles with consistency; they don’t swing back and forth just for personal benefit; or propagate rumors without integrity; they understand trust is two-way street, win respect via their character, and such trustworthy leadership will motivate the team to perform better and keep open-minded, trust like glue, makes leaders and teams act as a whole. Life's a journey with ups and downs, there is the purpose in adversity and we all experience it, for life, is about learning, and we all are going to get tested at various times in our lives. Acceptance of the situation allows us to see it from a broader and deeper perspective and empowers us. The character needs to be built. Adversity may test what you are made of -- at that particular moment only. But we improve our character from these experiences and learn to be more resilient. Once one has formed and 'built' their character through their cognition and experiences, those experiences define who you are.

Are you an Independent Thinker or a “mindless” follower? Independent thinking differentiates an authentic and character-based leader from a follower and defines an outstanding professional from mediocre employees. Independent thinking means you do not follow others opinion blindly, but analyze and synthesize all sources of input and information to form your own opinion. It doesn’t mean you "reinvent the wheel" every time when you make a decision. But if you uncritically accept whatever values, knowledge or ideas you've been taught, many of them perhaps are out of date or having a bias, you are not a great thinker, but an average order taker. Education alone can not shape one's independent thinking capability because you can teach people the certain level of knowledge or skills, but you can’t teach them how to think, how to be themselves, they just have to discover, explore and develop themselves.

Hire Character, Train for Skills. Character-based leaders and professionals have the persistence to do what they need to do to fulfill the vision and achieve the goals; have consistency as well to be who they are regardless of circumstances, and they are the great thinkers to bring new perspectives without limited to conventional wisdom. The character is an important differentiator between an ordinary and extraordinary, and it's the true color of diversity.


Thank you Pearl Zhu ! - Leaders and want-to-be leaders would do well to ask themselves these same questions. Assess themselves and their 'Return on Character' with an honest mindfulness. This will actually help leaders to "Hire Character, Train for Skills". "Character is an important differentiator between an ordinary and extraordinary, and it's the true color of diversity." A diversity not limited as it is multi-spectral and multi-dimensional. You can expand your awareness and usefulness of distinctions when you broaden your thoughts and visions of diversity. ~ Scott Hofmann - Houston, Tx

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